Cameron Smith, 2019 Emirates Australian Open, Tuesday 3 December
KATHIE SHEARER: A great start to this year, 2019, a good year all round for you?
CAMERON SMITH: Probably a little bit up and down, a little bit inconsistent, I guess. My swing went a little bit technically and then my confidence kind of went with that. We’ve been working on getting the technical side back to get that stuff back. But the last probably month and a half, two months has felt really good.
KATHIE SHEARER: Who have you been working with?
CAMERON SMITH: My coach, Grant Fields and a mental coach, Jonah Oliver. They’re both based up in Queensland, so a lot of chats over the phone and Grant’s been over a fair few times as well this year.
KATHIE SHEARER: You’ve said you’ve played about seven holes today, you’ve got the Pro-Am tomorrow.
CAMERON SMITH: Yep.
KATHIE SHEARER: What shape is your game in?
CAMERON SMITH: Probably a little bit dusty actually. I flew in last week and just had a really quiet week up in Brisbane, just got to catch up with family and friends and do all that good stuff. I had some renos in my backyard, so my dad and I laid some turf. It was a bit of a weird week, but the game feels good, just needs a little bit of sharpening up.
Q. When you say you need to sharpen up a little bit, can you do it in two days? What are you going to be doing and how confident are you this week?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it doesn’t really take that much. I went out there and played seven holes, did a little bit of work this morning with Grant and it was starting to feel really good at the end there. Eighteen holes tomorrow, I’m sure it’ll be fine by tomorrow afternoon. Maybe a little bit of work after tomorrow’s round and I should be good on Thursday.
Q. I ask Marc this, it will be an issue for all the players this week who are playing next week as well. It’s 10 relentless days of pressure, two huge events. How do you deal with it? How do you prepare for it? Have you given it any thought? You’ve also got the added team element next week and many of them are here this week as well. How is all that going to play out while you try to win an Open?
CAMERON SMITH: It is going to be a big few weeks. I was kind of prepared for it. I know probably my practice will be less over the next two weeks because of the media commitments and the commitments outside of golf, they take a lot out of you, but I’m prepared and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Q. What pushed you the most to pursue your career in golf, professional golf?
CAMERON SMITH: I didn’t really have much else going for me, to be honest. I did okay at school but all through high school all I wanted to do was play golf. I couldn’t really pinpoint it. I love playing golf and I’ve never really treated it as a job, but I know it is and I work hard at it and try and make myself better. I don’t know really. I’ve definitely got nothing to fall back on, that’s for sure.
Q. I was reading Adam Scott was saying that he’d like Australian fans to really get behind the Internationals even more than in past events of the President’s Cup and maybe not, even if they love Tiger Woods, not cheer for him as much but get behind you guys. Are you of the same thought?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, absolutely. I think we need that to maybe get in their heads a little bit. Definitely on paper they’ve got a stronger team, but in saying that, I think we’ve got a really solid team. All the guys can play some really good golf. Everyone wants to be there and everyone’s desire to get the President’s Cup I think is really high. I’m looking forward to it, I think it will be a great week. But we definitely need that crowd on our side. I know everyone’s really excited to have all the superstar Americans to come down, but we just need probably silence for them and a lot of cheer for us, I think.
Q. Getting back to overseas, is a Major in your thoughts for next season?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, I’ve performed relatively well in Majors throughout my career, so it’s something that I always look forward to. I always enjoy the weeks. I always try and treat them the same as any other tournament. I don’t try and hype them up or do anything extra, I’m always just there to kind of do my thing and keep the routine going. I think I’ve definitely got a little bit to go with my swing, like I was saying before, but I think hopefully in the next couple of years I can knock one off and hopefully get back up there.
Q. Just on Rod’s question, the gentleman in front of me, how do you go from preparing for The Open as an individual player and then so quickly you’re part of a team, how is that preparation different and is the transition difficult?
CAMERON SMITH: I don’t think it will be that difficult. Preparation as a team is definitely different. We’ll be playing probably some different games out on the course next week and stuff prior to the Tournament but I think Ernie’s done such a good job of getting us altogether and getting us all to know each other that the transition should all be really, really good.
Q. You mentioned trying to treat a Major like a normal week, is it even harder to do that this week, catching up with your mates that you played junior golf with, like Jake and Mav and everything like that and then you’re obviously one of the bigger names as well. Is it harder to make this a normal week than any other week of the year?
CAMERON SMITH: Yeah, it probably is to be honest. With the added commitments, everyone kind of wants a bit of a piece of you, which is fine, I love giving back. But it is hard, but it’s part of the challenge and I’m always up for a challenge.
KATHIE SHEARER: Terrific and thank you for coming in. Hope we see you when the Tournament begins. Hope we see you on Sunday, that would be good.
CAMERON SMITH: Thank you.